In an instant classic, “La Albiceleste” defeated France in a penalty shootout, securing Lionel Messi his first World Cup title.

Argentina! Argentina! Argentina are the 2022 World Cup champions! After 36 years of waiting, they are on top of the soccer world once again.

“La Albiceleste” had to overcome two backbreaking comebacks from “Les Bleus” in what was undoubtedly one of the most exciting games in World Cup.

It was the thirteenth time the two teams had met in international competition. With the win, Argentina now is 7-3-3 in head-to-head matchups with France.

Argentina opened the game determined, and France seemed practically lost. This dynamic continued into the halftime break.

The scoring opened in the 23rd minute with Lionel Messi, converting a rather dubious penalty committed by Ousmane Bembelé, his former Barcelona teammate. The Argentine star has scored in every World Cup match. The penalty was drawn by veteran Ángel Di María, who was a late addition to the starting lineup. Fans were overjoyed, and the stadium erupted with cheers. After the goal, Argentina kept the momentum in their favor, and France appeared to have no answers.

Argentina’s second goal came in the 36th minute. A left-footed strike by Ángel Di María culminated a beautiful counter-attack that was started with a beautiful flick from Messi. The assist came from Alexis Mac Allister.

The scoreboard read 2-0 in favor of Argentina when halftime arrived. French coach Didier Deschamps had change up his strategy in the second half, especially with his star player Kylian Mbappé a bit out of sorts.

Argentina continued to control the game, and then came the surprise in the 80th minute. The young French star appeared! Mbappé scored a penalty to put France within a goal. As Argentinian fans began to feel a hint of pressure, Mbappé scored the equalizer just a minute later with a right-footed volley off a gorgeous lob pass. Fans around the world were shocked as the tables had been turned.

Extra time came, and both sides gave their best, Argentina was able to keep its focus despite the comeback, while France was looking to put the dagger through their hearts.

In stoppage time, Messi put Argentina ahead again, but Mbappé came right back with another penalty to equalize. Even a Hollywood director wouldn’t have written a story like this.

In the end, the teams were even at 3-3, and the world title would be decided from the penalty spot.

Mbappé shot the first and put it home, his third penalty in three tries in the match. Messi scored his as well to even the count. Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved France’s second penalty, and the crowd went wild. For Argentina, it was Dybala's turn and he didn't miss. Tchouameni stepped up for France and put his penalty wide. With their next score, Argentina was just one save or goal from being crowned champions.

Argentina scored its fourth penalty kick (4-2) to earn their third World Cup title.

The awards ceremony took place at the Lusail Stadium. Mbappé’s performance will not be forgotten. At just 23 years old, he scored a hat-trick in the final and put home his penalty kick. He is elite player in every sense of the word and an example of mental strength and leadership. The Frenchman won the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the World Cup.

Lionel Messi finally did it: in his fifth World Cup, breaking records and winning the Golden Ball award for most valuable player. Enzo Fernández was named best young player. In addition, the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper went to Emiliano Martínez.

With that, 2022 World Cup has come to a close. We are left with a good taste in our mouths after enjoying a game that will undoubtedly be remembered forever. Congratulations Argentina!